“OK. I went a little crazy at the market today. Four pints ice cream, sweet potatoes, garlic scapes, radishes, mushrooms, strawberries and rhubarb…”
I think I may have swooned out loud at receiving this text message, and that does not happen every day. C’mon! Garlic scapes, farm fresh radishes, and local, handmade ice cream? My mind immediately went to the 2 pound cowboy ribeye steak we had thawing in his fridge. What? You say? We? We who? Whose fridge? Well kids, sometimes inspiration finds you when you least expect it. In my case he’s about 6′-1″ tall with goregeous blue eyes and a serious ice cream habit. He also has a love of farmers’ markets, playing in the kitchen, and all things absurd. Funny. Me too. On this particular Sunday morning, while I was running brunch at the restaurant, he took a stroll through the New Amsterdam Market and picked up a few things for us to play with for Sunday dinner.
Earlier that week, I received the heads up that beef prices were going up (again) so I quickly ordered us a beautiful sustainably raised ribeye from Painted Hills Ranch* in Wheeler County, Oregon. I brought it over only to find that my new friend did not have a cutting board big enough for me to butcher a 20 pound ribeye into steaks. Turns out his local is a New Zealand style pub, where he is friendly with the owner, who was more than happy to lend us a cutting board. After all was said and done, we were left holding a 2-rib standing roast and 5 cowboy steaks, each weighing in at about 2 pounds. I returned the cutting board, accompanied by one of the steaks, and added one happy Kiwi to my circle of friends. We vacuum sealed and popped the rest of the steaks in the freezer until we had an evening to enjoy one.
All week we looked forward to sharing one of those cowboys for Sunday dinner. I cooked it in a cast iron grill pan with nothing more than a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and even by itself the flavor of the steak was amazing. I couldn’t believe how good the little bits of fat on the edges of the steak tasted. Although the steak alone was delicious, the garlic scapes my new friend picked up at the farmers’ market inspired me to try a play on Argentine style chimichurri sauce. Substituting garlic scapes for regular garlic, gave the sauce a fresher, brighter flavor, which was the perfect complement to this fatty, lovingly raised piece of meat. Lovely peppery radishes did not get ignored either. They were the perfect addition to a steakhouse style chopped salad with toasted walnuts and home made blue cheese dressing!
Garlic Scape Chimichurri
It is important that the sauce stand for at least an hour in order for the flavors to develop before you serve it. When I first made the sauce it tasted really muted and watery. I set it aside while I prepared the rest of the meal and by the time I served it, the flavor of the sauce was completely different. Now we could taste all the herbs, the flavor of the garlic scapes, and the fruit of the olive oil. I added a little lemon and lime juice to brighten it up, but these should be added to taste, and you might find you may not even need it. The sauce will keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.
INGREDIENTS: Yields about 1-1/2 to 2 cups
2 tsp. dried oregano, steeped in 1/4 c. hot water
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 garlic scape, minced
(or 1/2 tsp. minced garlic when garlic scapes are out of season)
1 c. packed parsley leaves
1 c. packed cilantro leaves
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (more or less, to taste)
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 lime
1/2 c. good extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. of lemon juice
juice of 1 lime
1. In a food processor, combine garlic scape, parsley, and cilantro. Pulse until the herbs are evenly and finely chopped. You may also chop it all by hand if you don’t have a food processor.
2. Add oregano and water, salt, crushed red pepper, vinegar, and lemon and lime zest to the herb mixture. With the food processor running, pour the olive oil in through the feed tube. Alternatively you can whisk the oil into the mixture in a large mixing bowl. It is key that you use good olive oil here because the flavor will be apparent. Incorporate the oil quickly without whisking or processing too much or the oil will take on a bitter flavor.
3. Let the mixture stand for at least one hour. Before serving, add lemon and lime juice if needed, to taste.